Mark Aguirre is accused of running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint. The ex-cop was hired as a private investigator by a group whose CEO is GOP activist Steven Hotze (photo).
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HOUSTON — A former Houston police captain was arrested after allegedly running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint — what prosecutors say was part of an elaborate attempt to find evidence for a false conspiracy theory of widespread voter fraud in Harris County.
Mark Aguirre, who was working on behalf of a powerful Republican megadonor’s group to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in Harris County, was arrested Tuesday, according to the Harris County district attorney’s office.
Prosecutors say Aguirre’s claims were baseless and that he was paid $266,400 by Liberty Center for God and Country, whose CEO is prominent Texas right-wing activist Steven Hotze.
Hotze was among a group of Republicans who unsuccessfully sued to have nearly 127,000 Harris County ballots tossed out this year. Hotze was also among Republicans who tried — and failed — to stop Gov. Greg Abbott from extending early voting during the coronavirus pandemic, a suit for which Aguirre had provided an affidavit, stating that he was involved in an investigation into a “wide-ranging and fraudulent ballot harvesting scheme” in Harris County.
Jared Woodfill, a spokesperson and attorney for Hotze, confirmed that the Liberty Center hired a company led by Aguirre to investigate election fraud. The company contracted approximately 20 private investigators to work on claims of fraudulent ballots in Harris County and other places in Texas during the 2020 election. Woodfill said he was aware of Aguirre’s arrest but had not yet heard Aguirre’s side of the story.
“[Hotze] did not direct or lead any of the investigations,” Woodfill said, noting that Hotze instead sent tips and information to the team for the investigators to decide how to follow up. “The [Liberty Center] employed the investigation team that looked into the allegations.”
Aguirre told authorities he believed the air conditioner technician he threatened Oct. 19 — whom he had surveilled for four days with the help of at least two other unidentified people — was the mastermind of the supposed election fraud scheme and that fake ballots were being transported in the technician’s truck. He told police that he believed the technician had as many as 750,000 fake ballots in his possession, according to an affidavit by the Houston police officer who responded to the incident.
“There were no ballots in the truck,” according to a Harris County district attorney’s office press release. “It was filled with air conditioning parts and tools.”
Aguirre also told authorities that he and other unidentified suspects had set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in Pearland for days ahead of the incident. He refused to identify the other people he worked with, according to the Houston police report.
Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the technician’s truck to get the man to stop and get out, according to a court document describing probable cause for the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pointed a handgun at the technician and forced him to the ground, according to the affidavit.
“We are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
Aguirre was arrested by Houston police Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Hotze is an active GOP donor and is one of the most prolific culture warriors on the right. He’s a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage and was a key figure in the unsuccessful push for the 2017 “bathroom bill” in the Texas Legislature. This summer, he infamously left a voicemail for Abbott’s chief of staff telling him to shoot and kill people protesting the in-custody death of George Floyd.
This article was originally published by The Texas Tribune.
Image of Steven Hotze via Facebook
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‘Nut Should Be on a Watch List’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Slammed for AR-15 Style Gun Giveaway
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Tuesday will announce the winner of her gun giveaway for a $2860 Honey Badger “pistol” by Q. Like everything Greene does the giveaway is designed for one thing only.
“This is the same type of gun that TRIGGERS the Fake News Media and Democrats all across the country,” she says on the entry page. “And it’s the same type of gun the hate-America gun-grabbers in DC would love to BAN if they ever get the votes.”
That’s true. The “pistol” is an AR-15 style weapon. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives last year issued a cease and desist letter to the manufacturer, but Trump’s DOJ stepped in and effectively nullified the order, according to a gun website.
Greene’s giveaway is also in response to President Joe Biden signing executive orders to protect Americans from gun violence. The nation has seen a tremendous increase in mass shootings this year. As of today 14,582 people have died due to gun violence, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That number includes 497 children 17-years of age or younger.
There have been 180 mass shootings to date – a mass shooting is when four or more people have been shot (not including the shooter) in one event.
In response to Greene’s announcement that she will be announcing the winner of the gun, many were furious. Some are demanding House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ban these types of events.
This nut should be on a watch list. https://t.co/WxRQh8hHjp
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 4, 2021
Not your life or mine.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 4, 2021
— Sherry Bruck (@sherrybruck) May 4, 2021
A sitting Congressional elected official is now giving away weapons of mass destruction was not something that I thought I would ever see in my lifetime.
— mesanjar – uǝʌɐᴚ ǝʎƎ Ɛ (@EquoAmicus) May 4, 2021
@GOPLeader is this how you allow a supposed member of Congress to act?@GOPChairwoman you need to control your members more. This should NOT be allowed, a member of Congress should NOT be doing gun giveaways. #ExpelMarjorieTaylorGreene https://t.co/jiWp7Ou4so
— 𝙱𝚊𝚛𝚋𝚊𝚛𝚊 𝙹𝚎𝚊𝚗🍀 (@HoosierRebel44) May 4, 2021
Why is this governing? This is attention-getting only. The American people deserve better!
— mimi6 (@mimi626649396) May 4, 2021
Greene is a fool with too many moronic followers. Gun giveaways should not be allowed.
— Rosalie Almborg (@GrouchoBarks) May 4, 2021
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised $5 million for Texans after a winter freeze. Marjorie Taylor Greene Gives away a gun & thinks she has done something special 🤣 pic.twitter.com/7U6G7HYc9I
— Gary William Graefen (@GaryWil75312459) May 4, 2021
Gun crazy Americans belong in the loony bin. https://t.co/u7wLpIYF9M
— Jan ter Beek (@sjonniebeek) May 4, 2021
— HedonistHenSays: Now. Here. This. HR1 Now. (@HedonistHen) May 4, 2021
#CleanUpYourMessKevin @GOPLeader @LeaderMcConnell @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer @TheJusticeDept this is obscene! She needs to be on a watch list. I’m afraid her next move is a mass shooting. Do something!!! https://t.co/1uVwsW3kGV
— Gloria Richard (@GloriaR11321452) May 4, 2021
When this weapon is used in a mass shooting, Marjorie should be held responsible.
— Jules Morgan 🇺🇸 (@glamelegance) May 4, 2021
That’s a mass shooting waiting to happen.
— Hard Truths (@scottp33) May 4, 2021
There is something fundamentally wrong with desiring a weapon that is good for nothing but mass killing.
Or is that the idea?
— Tim Murphy 🇺🇸 (@Murp1953Tim) May 4, 2021
Prime example of the tragic firearm laws in America. Is Congress prepared to take responsibility for liability of background check, registry of weapon & education of care, @POTUS @SpeakerPelosi @fbinicsystem; considering one of it’s members is giving a gun away? #FederalFelony https://t.co/bZuzfuxNWC
— (((DonnaZimmerman))) (@donna_zimmerman) May 4, 2021
Mass shootings are through the roof and this POS is giving away a “I don’t give a shit” gun.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is worse than a garbage human being. https://t.co/W8QBSWLoKx
— Carma (@Carma_2012) May 4, 2021
— Saint Veritas 🆘 (@SaintVeritas16) May 4, 2021
You are a monster. https://t.co/Cqe79mIPt5
— Charly’s Mamma 🇨🇦🇬🇧🇺🇸🇯🇲🛶 (@CharlyGrace6) May 4, 2021
Having someone like you in my government makes me deeply embarrassed and ashamed for my country. https://t.co/cJufRyeXTq
— JoeKoffee (@JoeKoffee) May 4, 2021
WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki Brilliantly Smacks Down Newsmax Reporter Trying to Get Black UN Ambassador Fired
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a reporter from the right wing website Newsmax who asked if President Joe Biden will fire the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield joined the U.S. Foreign Service four decades ago, in 1982. Her extensive resume includes serving as United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Director General of the United States Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, among others.
She was confirmed for her current post by a highly partisan U.S. Senate in a strongly bipartisan 78–20 vote.
Newsmax White House Correspondent Emerald Robinson suggested President Joe Biden should bow down to any criticism or attacks from China, telling Psaki that Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield “essentially said that white supremacy is woven into our founding documents and principles.”
“This statement,” Robinson claimed, “is getting widely criticized as essentially parroting Chinese Communist Party talking points. So is the President going to remove her from her position as the representative before that body to promote United States values?”
Psaki, calmly, told her no.
“Is the President going to remove an African American woman with decades of experience in the Foreign Service who is widely respected around the world from her position as Ambassador to the UN? He is not,” Psaki replied. “He is proud to have her in that position. She is not only qualified, he believes she is exactly the right person in that role at this moment in time. I have not seen her comments, I will say that there’s no question that there has been a history of institutional racism in this country, and that doesn’t require the UN ambassador to confirm that.”
Robinson, apparently trying to shape U.S. foreign policy from the press briefing room, complained thast Ambassador Robinson’s remarks are “essentially the same lecture though that the Chinese delegation gave Secretary Blinken in Alaska last month. So does the President think our founding documents are racist?”
Undeterred, Psaki again responded, saying: “I would say that, I will, I will leave my comments to speak for themselves, and certainly I think most people recognize the history of systemic racism in our country, and she was speaking to that.”
As most Americans known, the founding documents are inherently racist, including but hardly limited to allowing slavery and counting slaves as only three-fifths of a person.
"Is POTUS going to remove an African American woman w/ decades of experience in the foreign service who's widely respected around the world from her position as ambassador to the UN? He's not" — Jen Psaki wasn't having a question about if Biden will fire Linda Thomas-Greenfield pic.twitter.com/VZOHKJDkOX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 16, 2021
MyPillow’s Mike Lindell Tells Steve Bannon He’s Hired PI’s to Investigate Fox News, Bots, and Wikipedia
MyPillow founder and purveyor of the “Big Lie” about the 2020 presidential election, Mike Lindell, once again appeared on former Trump senior advisor Steve Bannon’s streaming show and was forced to defend why Fox News no longer allows him on their air.
“Why is Michael Lindell not on Fox and why is, why do they seem to say, ‘Hey, when Dominion says something we’re just gonna shut up about it and talk about Biden’s tax bill?’ Bannon asked Lindell.
“Well you know I’m going to have those answers too because I’ve hired private investigators, and I’ve spent a lot of money on them to investigate everything,” Lindell insisted.
“Why, why are the bots and trolls? Who’s behind them? What, you know, why is Facebook involved? Wikipedia involved? And then the big question: Why isn’t Fox having people on why isn’t Fox on there talking about, you know, Dominion and Smartmatic and the election?”
The fact that Dominion is suing Lindell in a $1.3 billion defamation case, and suing Fox News in a $1.6 billion defamation case, may offer some answers. Smartmatic is also suing Fox News, in a $2.7 billion lawsuit.
“All the evidence I have,” Lindell promised last month, “everything is going to go before the Supreme Court and the election of 2020 is going bye-bye.”
“Donald Trump will be back in office in August,” he added.
Mike Lindell reveals that he hired private investigators to find out why Fox News has refused to allow him to appear on the network and peddle his election fraud claims. pic.twitter.com/slZKjIF5c0
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) April 9, 2021
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